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In a struggle for the emancipation of a people, who have been for centuries groaning in bondage, it would be strange if a day or an hour could pass, without the occurrence of events deeply interesting alike to the friends and foes of the sufferers. What, then, must not a whole year bring forth? The Managers of the State Society are constrained to confess, that, if they should attempt to trace, minutely, the progress of the antislavery cause, through the length and breadth of the land, since the last annual meeting, and to accompany such a delineation with elaborate reflections, their present Report would swell to the dimensions of a huge volume. Upon those topics which they have selected for consideration, they propose to dwell with as much brevity as their importance will allow.
The past year has exhibited the American people covering themselves alresh with pollution and blood, and audaciously defying the God of justice in the language of blasphemy. If they were answerable for no other crime, their treatment of the Indian tribes would suffice to justly subject them to the direst punishment that offended Heaven has ever bestowed upon any nation. In ferociousness of spirit, in unrelenting hostility, in meanness and treachery, toward these doomed tribes, it is difficult to find a parallel case in the records of human depravity. The invasion of ancient Rome by the Goths and Vandals—the partition of Poland, and present treatment of its inhabitants, by Russia—the subjugation of the Greeks by the Turks—these examples fail in comparison. It may be safely affirmed, that the war now waging by this nation against the Indians, has an aggravation of guilt, on our part, scarcely equalled by any tribe
or nation, in any age or clime, since the first murderer slew his brother Abel. The recital of the wrongs and sufferings which they are now experiencing, and have been called to endure within the last five years, (a recital not from their own lips, but by those who are engaged in their expulsion or extermination,) is soul-harrowing. The primary object of the South, through the instrumentality of the national government, is doubly atrocious: first, to get forceful possession of their lands—and next, upon those lands to establish slavery, with all its woes and hor
To accomplish this object is now the great concern of The nation. It must be attained, though innocent blood be poured out like water, though a hundred millions of dollars be expended in the contest, though heaven and earth cry out with their myriads of warning voices against it, though the wrath of Almighty God be kindling like an oven to consume the whole land. Mark the imperious language of Brigadier General Wool, in a proclamation dated at • Head Quarters, Army Cherokee Nation, New Echota, Georgia, March 22, 1837,' and addressed to the civilized, christianized, hapless Cherokees :--The President, as well as Congress, has DECREED that you shall remove from this country. The people of Georgia, of North Carolina, of Tennessee, and of Alabama, have decreed it. Your fate is decided : and if you do not voluntarily (!) get ready, and go by the time fixed in the treaty, (a spurious treaty,) you will then be FORCED from this country by the soldiers of the United States.... Why not abandon a country no longer yours? Do you not see the white people coming into it, driving you from your homes, and possessing your houses, your corn-fields, and your ferries? Hitherto I have been able, in some degree, (probably in no degree,] to protect you from their intrusions : in a short time it will no longer be in my powcr. If, however, I could protect you, you could not live with them (!)-Your habits, your manners, and your customs, are unlike and unsuited to theirs (!)—They have no feelings, no sympathies, in common with yourselves (!)-Leave, then, this country, which, after the 25th May, 1838, can afford you no protection.'
All Europe and America have 'rung from side to side,' with bitter execrations upon the head of the Russian Autocrat, on account of his barbarous treatment of the Poles ;
but never has he evinced a more sanguinary spirit than this Brigadier General Wool. Yet he is only the agent of the American government. The guilt rests like an avalanche upon the whole country.
The Southern exterminators demand the sacrifice, and the man-butchers of the North are hunting the victims to be offered up on the altar of slavery !
The experience of every hour confirms the fearful truth, that, of all systems of villany, slavery is the most prolific with crimes; and that, of all wrong-doers, slaveholders are the most ferocious and incorrigible. Whatever their pretensions to patriotism, or virtue, or generosity, or self-respect, or piety, may be, the fact is incontestible that, as a body, none are so base, none so profligate, none so mean, none so degraded, none so impious, as themselves. In their treatment of all those whose skins are not colored like their own, they manisest that they neither fear God nor regard man. To the charge that they have been unduly censured, it may with truth be replied, that the charge itself is a libel,-a virtual defence of men-stealers.
It is in vain to seek for words to express their guilt: it must be the subject of mute astonishment and speechless horror. The Almighty does not supply man with language to denounce it in proper terms: it excites ideas of abhorrence beyond our capacity of expression. The making merchandize of God's imagethe murdering of souls—the abrogation of all the laws of God —the licensing of wholesale pollution, robbery, and sacrilegethe exaltation of one class of men above all that is called God, and the debasement of another class below all that is brutalthese are infinite crimes, to be judged, condemned and punished by an infinite Being.'
Among the earliest incidents that occurred subsequent to the last annual meeting of this Society, deserving special notice as illustrative of the fierce spirit of slavery, was the presentation of two petitions by John Quincy Adams, in the House of Representatives, Feb. 6, the first from several ladies of Freder
icksburg,' Virginia, praying for the abolition of the domestic slave trade. This was laid on the table, after some confusion -Mr. Patton of Va. declaring upon his honor,' that there was not on the paper the name of a single individual of respectable character. (They were all colored women, whose signatures had been forged.) The other petition purported to be from twenty-two persons,-SLAVES. Mr. Adams said he would withhold the petition, until the Chair had decided whether it came within the order of the House. He intimated that it was probably of a spurious character, sent to bim for the purpose of making him ridiculous before the public-as in the sequel it proved to be. The uproar which ensued in the House beggars description. The slaveholding mockers were caught in their own craftiness. They had forged the petition to show their contempt of northern petitioners, and especially of Mr. Adams; but they did not believe he would be so daring as to offer it to the House. Their punishment, like that of Cain, was greater than they could bear. They shrieked out in agony, like the unclean spirits in the presence of Jesus, "Why hast thou come to torment us before the time?' Mr. Lewis said it was in the power of the House to punish this atrocious attempt to present a petition from slaves. If it was not, they had better go home. Cries were now heard in various parts of the House, for the instant expulsion of Mr. Adams! Mr. Thompson drew up a resolution to that effect—but afterward proposed the adoption of another, not less ridiculous, that Mr. Adams be immediately brought to the bar of the House, to receive the severe censure of the Speaker. He styled it an incendiary attempt of the gentleman from Massachusetts to excite the slaves to murder and rapine, and declared it was punishable by the laws of the District! Mr. Haynes wished a resolution, declaring that the Hon. John Quincy Adams had rendered himself justly liable to the censure of the House, and that accordingly he is censured. Mr. Granger of N. Y. entirely condemned the course of the gentleman from Massachusetts. The right of petition belonged to freemen, not slaves! Mr. Wise of Va. said he would not censure Mr. Adams, unless at the same time he could censure those members of the House, who had put it in his power to
take this course, by receiving northern petitions. He likened the petitioners for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia to every description of reptiles and vermin.' The House had thrown itself into a fever—and for what? Why, merely because one of the abolition petitions presented happens to be a black one. He would as lief be bitten by a black mule as a white one. He feared the whites, and not the blacks. The slaves had more right and more reason to petition for abolition than the white people of the North, who had no interest in the subject. When the petitions came from the WHITE SLAVES OF THE NORTH, then it was that he felt excited and alarmed. Mr. Mann of N. Y. considered Mr. Adams as being in the wane of his intellect. Mr. Cambreleng said the petition was a hoax, got up by slaveholders in the District, (probably in the House,) and that he understood its prayer was for the expulsion of Mr. Adams and every other abolitionist from the House! Mr. Glascock contended that this was no ex
It was undoubtedly the intention of the gentleman from Massachusetts to insult the southern members, and trifle with the House. Mr. Jenifer of Md. said, let the gentleman present his petition, which he claims the right of doing, and he (Mr. J.) would vote, not only for a resolution of censure, but for the expulsion of the member. Mr. Dromgoole of Va. moved that as Mr. Adams had given color to the idea that slaves have a right to petition, and avowed his willingness to be their organ, he be severely censured by the Speaker in presence of the House.Mr. Pickens exprecsed his gratification at the unanimity (!) of feeling manifested on this subject by the members from the South. Mr. Bynum offered a resolution, that an attempt to present a memorial from a slave or a free negro, is a contempt of the House, and calculated to embroil the House in strife and confusion; and that any member guilty of the same, is justly amenable to the censure of the House. After a great variety of absurd and incoherent resolutions had been proposed, the following were adopted :
• Resolved, That this House cannot receive the said petition, without disregarding its own dignity, the rights of a large class of citizens of the South and West, and the Constitution of the United States'! --Yens 160! nays 35 !